28 September 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival celebrates 30th anniversary special this September
08 Sep 2022 : News Desk
GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival
This year GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival will celebrate its 30th anniversary of film programming in Dublin this September.

Beginning life as a lesbian and gay film club at the IFI in the early 1990s, the festival has since evolved into Ireland’s pre-eminent LGBTQ+ film event.

To celebrate this incredible milestone, the festival has an expanded programme of screenings for 2022 to share more exciting film work in new spaces for new audiences, including gallery screenings and a revamped GAZE Online offering for the whole of Ireland.

The core cinema season will form the heart of the festival as always, taking place from Wednesday, 28th September to Sunday, 2nd October at both the IFI and Light House.

GAZE 2022 will open with the breathtaking Wildhood, a future cinema classic from director Bretten Hannam, a Canadian coming-of-age tale like no other that follows two young First Nations characters in an emotional journey of self-discovery – part road movie, part queer romance.

A high standard of filmmaking is displayed in this year’s Irish Shorts submissions, with so much good material on offer it has been programmed across the festival in dedicated screenings, pre-feature shorts, gallery shows and GAZE Online.

Irish filmmaking looks to be stronger than ever. Highlights include Clara Planelles’ First Date, a magnificent black comedy about grief and moving on; Homebird by Caleb J. Roberts, which dramatises a touching and tender conversation between father and gay son; while Don’t Go Where I Can’t Find You by past GAZE jury-winner Rioghnach Ní Ghrioghair elevates the lesbian ghost story into high art.

Also making waves in the film world, The People’s Joker is said to be the most hyper-modern queer film ever to grace the GAZE screen. Devised by trans filmmaker Vera Drew, the film has been crowd-sourced by an international community of artists to celebrate and satirize comic book culture from a super queer perspective.

As well as fresh new cinematic voices, GAZE 2022 features guest curations of past classics, including DJ, activist, and community icon Tonie Walsh presenting Gregg Araki’s The Living End from 1992, and Ruth McCarthy, Director of Outburst Queer Arts Festival presenting Cheryl Dunye’s Mommy Is Coming from 2012.

A special late-night screening will also revive the unrivalled John Waters filth-fest that is Pink Flamingos, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Audiences are invited to dress up and expect carnage.

GAZE audiences also have the chance to curate their own film this year with one feature slot being given over to an audience vote. Select your own queer blast from the past and stay tuned to GAZE social media for how to cast a vote.

Other vital works in the programme include closing night feature Girl Picture by Alli Haapasalo, which offers a joyous glimpse of young Finnish queer friendships as LGBTQ+ youngsters grow up alongside their straight friends. It’s raucous and emotional and will make you want to be a teenager all over again.

It’s an incredible time for documentary work. Magnus Gertten’s Nelly & Nadine has wowed audiences across Europe with the awe-inspiring tale of two women who survived the Holocaust, found one another, and built a life together in an era when such things felt truly impossible. It uplifts the viewer beyond what cinema can usually achieve. In Her Words20th Century Lesbian Fiction by Lisa Marie Evans interviews a vast selection of the finest living writers to weave together the most ambitious history of lesbian writing ever attempted. Stick around to join the panel conversation with us afterwards.

“I wanted the film programme for this anniversary year to reflect two important things: the incredible history and heritage of LGBTQ+ community - the pioneers, survivors and forebears who make our lives as LGBTQ+ people possible - and the roots of the film festival, the art of film itself,” said GAZE’s new Festival Director, Greg Thorpe. “We have really dug into and queered these themes to create a selection of films that tell the untold, that celebrate queer storytelling in new ways, and that lean into the magic of LGBTQ+ artists and filmmakers.”

Beyond the cinema programme, GAZE will spread across the city and calendar with a selection of new offerings. On Friday, September 23rd, GAZE at Culture Night will screen important community-focused films that focus on the lives of marginalised voices in the LGBTQ+ community. The free event shares new film work by Pradeep Mahadeshwar and by the Gay Health Network including in-conversation with artists and participants.

GAZE at The Complex brings 10 days of gallery films to Dublin for free, offering new platforms for sharing this year’s incredible international and local output. Running from Tuesday, October 4th to Saturday, October 15th there will be a double programme of new queer film work with evening screenings and up-close in-conversations with Irish artists.

Finally, GAZE Online gathers up our hybrid festival learning to bring a digital offering to the whole of Ireland encompassing GAZE 2022 highlights alongside online exclusives that perfectly fit the at-home cinema experience.

GAZE International Film Festival is sponsored by Accenture, funded by The Arts Council, Dublin City Council, and is supported by venue partners; Light House Cinema and the Irish Film Institute (IFI).

GAZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2022 runs at the Irish Film Institute (IFI), Temple Bar and the Light House Cinema, Smithfield. Tickets available directly from screening venues Irish Film Institute, IFI@Home or The Light House Cinema.

Click here for the full programme on the GAZE website.

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